Sajji, or barilla, should not be confounded with Sajimati or fullers earth. The latter is earth impregnated with soda and not a barilla. Sajimati occurs in great abundance on the surface of the soil in many parts of India, and is chiefly used in washing cloth.
Processing of Sodium Bicarbonate
The process of manufacturing Sajji is described as, the plants are cut down during the cold months, dried and burnt in a pit of a hemispherical shape, about 6 feet in circumference and 3 feet deep. At the bottom of this pit, one or more inverted earthen vessels having small holes pierced in their upper portion are buried. The holes are kept closed at the commencement of the operations. Into the pit is thrown a small quantity of the plants and burnt. Fresh plants are being gradually added to keep up a constant fire, and this is continued till the pit fills up. During this process, a liquid matter exudes from the plants. As soon as this is observed the orifices in the earthen vessels are opened and the liquid runs down into them below the fire. After all the liquid has run down, the ashes are stirred up with a stick and covered over with earth. The alkali found in the earthen vessels is Sajji of the first quality.
Benefits of Sodium Bicarbonate
The properties of Sarjika are said to be like but somewhat inferior to those of Yavakakshara. It is chiefly used in combination with other medicines of its class in the treatment of acidity, dyspepsia and enlargements of the abdominal viscera. Externally it is used as a caustic.
Dose of Sodium Bicarbonate in Medicine
The following is an example of a saline medicine containing Sarjika.
Sarjikadya Churna: Take sarjikakshara and yavakshara, rock, sonchal, vit, sambar and karkach salts in equal parts, powder, soak in lemon juice or the juice of pomegranate fruits and dry in the sun. Dose should be about 20 grains. This medicine is said to promote the appetite, to remove local swellings or tumours in the abdomen and to cure dyspepsia with severe pain after meals.
A paste made of equal parts of yavakshara and sarjikakshara with water is applied to abscesses, for the purpose of opening them.
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